LAKKI MARWAT - Elders of sub-tribes and local leaders of different political parties split over the present formation of Marwat Qaumi Jirga, a grand body of Marwat tribe constituted to ensure sustainable peace and bring development to the backward district.

The differences and division among elders and political and religious elite were seen at a meeting held at the residence of former city nazim Ishfaq Ahmad Khan Meenakhel in Lakki City on Monday.

The meeting was apparently convened to devise a strategy for coming local bodies polls turned into a heated debate session on the formation of Marwat Qaumi Jirga.

The participants expressed their views freely and presented valuable suggestions. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senior leader and former federal minister Salim Saifullah Khan was also in the attendance.

Saifullah said that Marwat Qaumi Jirga in its present form was not acceptable to the elders of different clans. “Only the elders and religious leaders affiliated with JUI-F have representation in the grand body”, he maintained.

He said the elders from other sub-tribes and office bearers of political and religious parties had not been given any representation in it.

He made it clear that they would have no option other than to form a parallel body if their suggestions were not given serious consideration.

However, an elder criticized Saifullah for his remarks about the august body of Marwat tribe.

“The influential Saifullahs and elders of prominent Tore and Speen Gunds (black and white groups) had representation in the Jirga when it was formed for the first time with former provincial minister Anwar Kamal Khan Marwat (late) as its head few years back”, said advocate Fareedullah Khan, the former Lakki tehsil nazim.

He said that Saifullah brothers should not raise finger at the formation of jirga as they did not bother to attend its meeting during last couple of years. “Don’t make accusations when you people have no time to attend the important meetings of Marwat Qaumi Jirga,” he said.

Some speakers said that the grand jirga had been constituted to safeguard the collective interests of Marwat tribe and back law enforcement agencies to eliminate militancy and restore peace in the region. “But now it has become a puppet into the hands of elders and political elite affiliated with JUI-F”, they revealed.

They said that such constitution of Marwat jirga was not acceptable to them at all.

A former union council nazim advocate Akram Khan said that the all clans should have equal representation in the Marwat jirga.

A JI leader Haji Azizullah Khan said that the elders of Speen Gund (white group) had joined JUI-F and now they were using the platform of Jirga to accomplish their interests. He said the Jamat-e-Islami had no representation in the Marwat Qaumi Jirga and that there was a dire need to unite elders and leaders of all clans and political and religious parties for the development of district and betterment of people.

Another elder Abdul Ghafoor Khan Takhtikhel also underlined the need for expanding the sphere of Marwat Qaumi Jirga to all political parties.

JUI-S district chief Maulana Habibullah Haqqani said that no one could deny the importance of jirga as it always played an effective role for maintaining sustainable peace and harmony in the district.

Among others JUI-Nazryati chief Mufti Muhammad Khan Haqqani, former MNA Ghulamud Din Khan, former nazim Malik Muhammad Idrees Khan, Malik Meer Nawaz Khan, Iqbal Hussain of PPP, Malik Iqbal Khan Khoidadkhel, Haji Abdul Rahim and former city nazim Ishfaq Ahmad Khan Meenakhel also spoke on the occasion.